Your Guide to Scorpio Season

Illustration: Sunny Wu

Welcome to Scorpio season … the darkest, gothest, most glamorously sinister time of the year. If Libra season was like a charming brunch with well-mannered guests, Scorpio season’s more like a murder-mystery dinner party: all about getting down and dirty in other people’s business, about probing the depths of humanity.

Scorpio season runs from about October 23 to November 22 (give or take a day, depending on the year). During this time, scary things happen with regularity — Halloween, for example, and U.S. presidential elections. The scorpion is the most menacing of the astrological glyphs, and in ancient astrology, Scorpio was often associated with outright evil. But don’t be scared. There’s way more to the Scorpio story than that.

The primary Scorpio characteristics are passion, perceptiveness, and unstoppable determination. Scorpio has two ruling planets: Mars, the planet of action, aggression, and desire; and Pluto, the planet of transformation, rebirth, and our subconscious forces. These planets lend the sign its aura of power. Scorpio isn’t loud or in your face, but nobody could mistake Scorpio’s quiet confidence for meekness.

People are often surprised to hear that Scorpio is not, as they assume, a bold fire sign, but rather a water sign, which is typically perceptive, intuitive, and emotional. Scorpio energy is certainly intense and powerful, but it isn’t loud; rather, it has a deep, thrumming core of determination. Scorpio has a laser-sharp focus, a powerful drive, and a strong desire to probe and get to the bottom of things. Scorpio is about depth, not appearances. Scorpio isn’t afraid of anything, even the darkest truths.

More than anything else, you should expect this to be a season of intensity. This might mean that you’re not able or inclined to let things go (Scorpio is famous for its ability to hold grudges). It might mean that you’re quicker to jealousy or suspicion. Don’t be surprised if people in your life respond to your actions with this kind of intensity, too. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to get caught up in mind games and power struggles.

At its best, Scorpio season can lend you an energy of fearlessness: a refusal to be intimidated by anyone or anything, or to accept answers that are easy but untrue. You can use this energy to ask provocative questions, refuse to settle for easy answers, disrupt your own and other people’s social comfort. Scorpio season is the best astrological backdrop you could ask for if you want to go to parties alone, or confidently enter new and intimidating social spaces, or uncover secrets.

Scorpio season doesn’t create spooky situations or upsetting encounters; it just makes it harder to look away from the sadness, cruelty, and injustice that has been lurking beneath the surface all along. After all, life isn’t bright or happy or fair all the time. This season offers all of us (not just the Scorpios!) a much-needed chance to look beneath the surface and acknowledge our own (and each other’s) complexities, shadows, and depths.

Depending on the rest of your astrological chart, all this intensity might or might not sound exactly fun, but either way it can be tremendously rewarding and freeing, if you let it. Scorpio season might ask you to refuse to settle for less than what you really desire — and to figure out what that actually is. If you’re typically focused on comfort, or on harmony, or on success and prestige, this season can offer an invitation to rethink this, to put all that aside. What is it you really desire? What is it you really need?

Your Guide to Scorpio Season